Bumblebees are considered a beneficial insect because they pollinate crops and plants, however, they can sting. Some easy ways to tell the difference between a bumble bee and a carpenter bee is to take note of where they are flying and their appearance. Bumble bees typically fly around waist-high and lower while carpenter bees typically fly shoulder-high and higher. Bumble bees appear to be yellow and fuzzy while carpenter bees appear to be black and shiny.
The occupant of a disturbed bumble bee nest will buzz in a loud volume. They defend their nests aggressively, though are rarely aggressive when away from their nest.
Bumble bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground, around patio areas or decks. The most common places nests are found in our area are under porch steps and in the root system of shrubs.
As part of their aggressive defense of their nests, bumble bees will chase nest invaders for a considerable distance. The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once. Typically, bumble bees are not very aggressive and should go untreated if their nest is out of the way of people and pets. When their nests are in the path of an entryway or the mailbox though, it is best to eliminate them before anyone is stung . Humans are at the same risk of allergic reactions from bumble bee stings as they are with other bee or wasp stings.